Published July 03, 2012
LONDON – London-born sprinter Dwain Chambers was selected for the British Olympic team on Tuesday, three months after his lifetime ban from the games as a doping offender was overturned.
Also, women's 800-meter runner and 2009 world bronze medalist Jenny Meadows was surprisingly left off the team.
European indoor champion Meadows was one of four British women with qualifying times in the two-lap race to be overlooked for the games, with 21-year-old Lynsey Sharp -- the recent European silver medalist -- the only female competitor in the 800.
Chambers was cleared to compete in April and picked for the 100 meters and the 4x100 relay as one of 71 track and field athletes on the British squad. The British Olympic Association was forced by sport's top court to lift its lifetime sanction imposed on him in 2004 for a doping offense.
"It is a real honor to be selected as part of Team GB today," Chambers said. "For me, representing my country in an Olympics is a privilege that should never be taken for granted."
World and European 5,000-meter champion Mo Farah, 400 hurdles world title holder Dai Greene, Beijing 2008 triple jump silver medalist Philips Idowu and women's Olympic 400 champion Christine Ohuruogu also were chosen, along with former world heptathlon champion and current silver medalist Jessica Ennis.
The 71 athletes joined six British marathon runners who had already earned a place at the games.
"Every ounce of hard work has been leading towards this point and now I can't wait to get to the start line in the Olympic Stadium," said Farah, who retained his European 5,000 title in Helsinki last week.
Chambers won the 100 at the recent British trials and was expected to be included in the team, even though he didn't go inside the Olympic `A' time of 10.18 seconds at the trials.
He was still picked on that victory and will compete in his first Olympics in 12 years.
He finished fourth in the 100 at the 2000 Sydney Games but was banned from competing for two years after testing positive for `designer steroid' tetrahydrogestrinone in 2003 and banned by the British Olympic authority for life.
He was cleared for selection to the London Olympics this year after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled the BOA's lifetime ban was not in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Agency code and Chambers had served his ban.
Chambers said Tuesday that competing at his home Olympics "has been a dream that at times has seemed very distant and is now a reality. It is a very proud day and I thank the selectors for the confidence and faith they have placed in me."
Shot putter Carl Myerscough was selected alongside Chambers. He also served a ban for a doping offense. Team Chef de Mission Andy Hunt denied the pair would be shunned by other British athletes because of their pasts.
"I think we've been very clear, we will embrace any athlete, including those you've named, into the team," Hunt said at the announcement in Startford, east London, and near to the main Olympic Stadium. "They were welcomed into the team and will be given the best support and hopefully achieve the best performance possible."
British head coach Charles Van Commenee targeted eight medals -- and at least one gold -- from the home nation's athletics squad. Britain won four medals in athletics in Beijing four years ago.
"I believe this team is well prepared to go out there, be competitive and achieve on the greatest sporting stage in front of a home crowd," Van Commenee said.